Building a $2,000 1440p Gaming PC

logainofhades

Titan
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What a horrible way to spend $2000. Making it pretty, vs performance, is simply never a good idea. Far superior streaming, and gaming performance.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor ($418.95 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: EVGA CLC 280 113.5 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.89 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel 660p 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial MX500 2 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($229.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8 GB BLACK GAMING Video Card ($699.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Gold 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($114.99 @ B&H)
Total: $1981.76
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-03-13 10:58 EDT-0400
 
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gfg

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Mar 30, 2005
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In my opinion, it is best to look for a balance of components and not be tied to a figure as exact as U$D 2000. You can spend +/- 200 will not change the concept of purchase.
Ryzen 7 3700X,
good x570 motherboard (for future updates CPU)
RTX 2070
2x16 GB Ram
1TB PCE 3.0 SSD / optional 2TB conventional disk
dedicated CPU cooler
good power supply
and finely cabinet aesthetics.
 

SirCrono

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Sep 9, 2006
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What a horrible way to spend $2000. Making it pretty, vs performance, is simply never a good idea. Far superior streaming, and gaming performance.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor ($418.95 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: EVGA CLC 280 113.5 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.89 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel 660p 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial MX500 2 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($229.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8 GB BLACK GAMING Video Card ($699.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Gold 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($114.99 @ B&H)
Total: $1981.76
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-03-13 10:58 EDT-0400
I was thinking the same while reading this article. What good is the pretty case if I'm getting 50 fps in a game?
Your build is much much better.
 

Gurg

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Mar 13, 2013
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TH AMD processor reviews all tell us what a wonderful deal the cheap AMD Wraith Spire CPU cooler is. Why did you then waste money on a $234 NZXT AIO (a very good AIO) rather than just using the cheap AMD enclosed cooler that limits the CPU overclocking ability and system performance? LOL
 
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Jul 1, 2019
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I just love those build posts! They're always inspiring. Anyway, I would make few adjustments for the cost-effectiveness' sake. IMHO not all components match very well. I wouldn't touch the choices of the case, fan and AIO. They not only look beautiful but also work great. First of all, a 750W PSU exceeds the power requirements by a good margin. This x570 Mobo also has much more features that are needed for this setup. I do agree that a 3600X is a great option, as it's more than capable for gaming and streaming, but both PSU and Mobo are not in the same pace here. There are better x570 options in the sub $200 treshold that would get the job done more than flawslessly (even when considering the PCIe4.0 perk is a must have). This little step down would still handle a 3800X. Guess what?! The savings are just enough for that upgrade.

Anyhow, it is great overall.

Cheers!
 

Gurg

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Mar 13, 2013
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This build is like buying a Ferrari at full price and then sticking a 200bhp engine in it and running cheap tyres. Might look good but performance sucks.
I like the car analogy. My turbocharged 2L 2018 VW GTI produces 228 bhp and has 0-60 mph time of 5.7 sec. competitive with the fastest domestic production cars in 1973 of 6.3 sec for a 7.6L 1973 Corvette.

A run of mill 9600K overclocks to 5ghz all core and blows the PBO overclocked 3800x away by 6% and the 3600x by 9% in gaming geomean of 99th percentile FPS in TH reviews.
 
A $250 CPU cooler for a $200 Ryzen processor that isn't likely to ever hit 100 watts of power draw? That seems like a terrible use of funds. A $300 motherboard isn't going to help performance either compared to one costing half as much. For what this build spends on unnecessary fluff and RGB bling, you could throw in a decent 1440p 144Hz monitor and still have enough left over for some higher-performing components.

What a horrible way to spend $2000. Making it pretty, vs performance, is simply never a good idea. Far superior streaming, and gaming performance.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor ($418.95 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: EVGA CLC 280 113.5 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.89 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel 660p 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial MX500 2 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($229.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8 GB BLACK GAMING Video Card ($699.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Gold 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($114.99 @ B&H)
Total: $1981.76
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-03-13 10:58 EDT-0400
That's definitely a more practical and better-performing build than the one in the article, but a 3900X might be a bit overkill for most gaming-focused systems for the near-future, and a 3700X would result in virtually identical gaming performance for $130 less. You could also get away with an even less-expensive aftermarket cooler than that, or maybe even the stock Prism cooler. I also don't really see the point in getting a 2TB SATA SSD alongside a 512GB NVMe boot drive when the 2TB version of that NVMe drive costs the same as the SATA drive, and handles large transfers better than the smaller version. So, you could do without the second half-terabyte drive and still have more capacity than the build in the article. Those changes alone could save as much as $300 over your build, which would nearly be enough to move up to a 2080 Ti. Or maybe put it toward a monitor, or improve some other parts of the build instead, like a better case, X570 motherboard and perhaps some RGB RAM if we want it a bit more comparable to the build in the article.

I would rather have a brand new 2070 SUPER than a used graphics card with no returns accepted and only a year of warranty remaining for close to $500. A 2070 SUPER costs about the same, gets similar performance, and offers new features like raytracing acceleration, along with a full three years of warranty covereage on most models. With a card in this price range, I would want all the warranty I could get, unless you're fine with the idea of the card potentially failing after a year and having to buy a replacement. About the only benefit the 1080 Ti has over it is a bit more VRAM, but today's game's don't utilize that extra VRAM anyway.

A run of mill 9600K overclocks to 5ghz all core and blows the PBO overclocked 3800x away by 6% and the 3600x by 9% in gaming geomean of 99th percentile FPS in TH reviews.
Didn't Tom's Hardware just publish an article yesterday about how the 3600X is an all-around better processor than the 9600K... : P

https://www.tomshardware.com/features/amd-ryzen-5-3600x-vs-intel-core-i5-9600k

Sure, with an overclock you might be able to pull off slightly more performance in many lightly-threaded games at low resolutions, but the lack of SMT is already causing some frame rate instability in certain demanding titles, and that's only likely to become more of an issue in the future. And of course, we're not looking at low resolutions here, but rather 1440p, where graphics hardware will tend to be more of a limiting factor, especially when we're not pairing the processor with a super-high-end card like a 2080 Ti.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
I would rather have a brand new 2070 SUPER than a used graphics card with no returns accepted and only a year of warranty remaining for close to $500. A 2070 SUPER costs about the same, gets similar performance, and offers new features like raytracing acceleration, along with a full three years of warranty covereage on most models. With a card in this price range, I would want all the warranty I could get, unless you're fine with the idea of the card potentially failing after a year and having to buy a replacement. About the only benefit the 1080 Ti has over it is a bit more VRAM, but today's game's don't utilize that extra VRAM anyway.
I was going to say something similar but I agree 100%. Buying used is never a good idea on items like GPUs because you can't return them. And the tech is newer, also.
 

Giroro

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Jan 22, 2015
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It's like, I'm pretty sure this was sponsored by NXT, but that $2000 price tag on ~$1200 worth of gaming performance is sadly a pretty strong argument against the brand.

Although, I'm pretty biased against any desktop PC case with so little room for expansion; IE not many hard drive bays, no front bays, etc. If you don't need room for expansion, then why even do a full ATX build?
 
Although, I'm pretty biased against any desktop PC case with so little room for expansion
The case seems fine enough, if one wants relatively clean looks and doesn't need a lot of hard drive bays. Price-wise, there might be better value options, like NZXT's own H510 (non-Elite) in Logain's build above, but $150 is arguably not too unreasonable for a case for a $2000 build. While some may want more 3.5" bays, many systems these days are doing away with mechanical drives entirely. And external drive bays have become something of a rarity among new case designs.

Personally, I would have liked to see them give this case an external drive bay, that could have been placed behind a hidden flip-open panel at the bottom front, where the hard drive cage is. Maybe replace the cage with a combination 5.25"/3.5" bay of some sort. I like the idea of being able to add additional front panel connectivity down the line, which isn't really an option with most newer cases.

The CPU cooler does seem out of place though. It's about $200 more expensive than an aftermarket cooler that I would consider reasonable for a 3600X. It's not a hot running processor, nor does it have a lot of overclocking headroom, so a high-end liquid cooler is not needed. And the little OLED screen on the cooler is probably something best left for higher-end builds where there aren't other components that money could be better put toward.
 

spongiemaster

Proper
Dec 12, 2019
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What a horrible way to spend $2000. Making it pretty, vs performance, is simply never a good idea. Far superior streaming, and gaming performance.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor ($418.95 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: EVGA CLC 280 113.5 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.89 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($159.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel 660p 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($62.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial MX500 2 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($229.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8 GB BLACK GAMING Video Card ($699.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Gold 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($114.99 @ B&H)
Total: $1981.76
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-03-13 10:58 EDT-0400
Why would you waste money on a 12 core CPU for a system built for gaming? If you have budget constraints, in a gaming system, the big money should always be spent on the video card.

Using your system as a base:

Replace the 3900x with the original 3600x.
Cut the RAM in half to 16GB.
Don't need more than 1TB of storage for your games. Pick up a 1TB Adata XPG XS8200 Pro. More speed, save $80.

With those 3 changes, you can now replace the 2080 Super, with a 2080Ti
MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

Much faster video card, faster storage = better gaming experience. In summary, a $2000 gaming system with a 2070 Super is total garbage. Nice job Toms.
 

DESOUL

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What we learned, is that you spent 2000$ horribly.

You could have saved here and there and cut down the part cost to 1k for what you spent 1500 and instead got a 2080 TI RTX and seen an spectacular improvement to your FPS in 144p gaming.

Out of all of these parts:

  • RAM, you don't need 32gb, 16 is fine, save 110$ there.
  • Why do you need a second SSD? Save 115$ there too, get a cheap HDD as secondary.
  • PC Case with pretty colors, not required, 50$ one would suffice - save another 100$
  • 300USD x570 MB for this? Don't need it, get one for 120$. - save another 180$
  • 240$ Kraken Fan? Jesus no, get a 80$ Noctua and save another 180$
There you go, we saved 700$ by cutting out unnecessary components. Use those to add yourself an RTX 2080TI Strix instead and see an increase in fps by 30-50%
 
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Mar 13, 2020
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Came here and created an account to post that this is a crap build. Looks like many others beat me to it. Pretty sure the system i built in december 2018 for $1400 beats this thing or at least is very comparable. I managed to get a RTX 2080 into mine with 2700x, 16gb ram, 650w Power, Aorus gaming 5 x470 motherboard. 1440p gaming is NO problem here for less money at a time where price per performance was probably higher. This stinks of an advertisement. either that or they have interns creating content now. Makes me suspect the rest of the website's content when such a basic thing as a solid mid-high computer build can be botched like this.
 
With a budget of $2,000 and a focus on aesthetics and 1440p gaming performance, our latest PC build came together nicely.

Building a $2,000 1440p Gaming PC : Read more
So $150 on the case, $300 on the mainboard (PCI-e 4.0 storage that boots in the same amount of time? well done!), and $234 on an AIO to mount on top of an R5-3600 that might get an extra 25 MHz higher clocks on average? <eye-roll!>

Perhaps the article should be titled, "If you could win a price by blowing ~$650 (about 1/3rd!) of a $2k budget on an R5-3600 rig, what would you buy? Beat our choices!"

EDIT: Has this particular MSI X570 board been tested for VRM overheating? Maybe not an issue with an R5-3600, but, if spending $300 on a mainboard hoping to drop in a 4900X in two years time, it would be nice to have one that is KNOWN to have moderate VRM temps, the testing of which was shown to be 'lacking' in THG's testing of an at least one MSI X570 board as of late
 
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RAM, you don't need 32gb, 16 is fine, save 110$ there.
32GB is arguably fine for a $2000 build, particularly if you plan to keep it around for a number of years. While games might not really need more than 16GB today, that is likely to change eventually, especially if one leaves other software like web browsers open while gaming. The next-generation consoles coming later this year will have more memory than their predecessors, so it's natural to assume that RAM requirements for many PC games will rise as well over the next few years or so. And while you could always buy more RAM down the line, there's the possibility of running into compatibility issues when using RAM modules from separate kits, meaning you might need to replace the existing RAM anyway.

You also end up with a four-rank memory setup by going with 32GB (either with a 2x16GB or 4x8GB kit), which can result in faster memory performance than a two-rank setup. Most modern RAM modules have 8GB per rank, so you generally don't get that with a 16GB kit unless you find some older modules with 4GB per rank. The performance impact on games tends to be small, but it's generally larger than the difference moving from DDR4-3200 to 3600, for example.

You can of course get 32GB of similar-performing RAM for around $60 less than that though, if you don't require overpriced LEDs on the heat spreaders, so there's still money to be saved if one can pass on a bit of bling. It's amazing how companies can sell components for so much more by adding a couple dollar's worth of lights to them. : P
 

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